As CEO of the Adventure Racing World Series (AR World Series), Heidi Muller has expanded this global series of Adventure Racing events by building relationships, sharing her knowledge and experience, mentoring race directors, and infusing her commitment to the sport into every interaction. With more than 25 years in sport and business, navigating the way forward for the global AR World Series brand is a new era for this visionary businesswoman.
Heidi’s start in sport began with track (SA Hurdles champion) and netball. But it was her work in modelling and the winning of pageant titles, that led to Heidi competing in the Miss South Africa pageant. As the Runner-up, Heidi’s world opened wide, and her life became immersed in fashion, beauty, modelling, and world travel. She started her first company in the business of coordinating and producing events and shows.
Although Heidi studied Business Management, she comes from an entrepreneurial home. Her parents led by example by carving their own route to build businesses. Heidi and her two brothers inherited their spirit of innovation and creativity, and the fortitude to work hard, strive for excellence and to pursue their dreams.
Athletic and fit, Heidi was introduced to the sport of Adventure Racing by her then-boyfriend, now husband, Stephan Muller. For 10 years, she raced competitively in South Africa and at international expedition-length adventure races.
Heidi’s love of Adventure Racing turned into a full-time job when the concept of Expedition Africa was conceived. For 15 years, she has been whole-heartedly invested in growing the sport in South Africa by organising multiple events of varying distances each year, in addition to the annual, expedition-length Expedition Africa. This multi-day, international race has been held in different countries including South Africa, Eswatini (Swaziland), Lesotho, Rodrigues Island and India.
In October 2023, Heidi welcomed the Adventure Racing World Championship to South Africa when the 11th edition of Expedition Africa proudly hosted over 100 four-person teams from around the world. In 2024, this multi-day event will be held in Namibia.
Philanthropy is important to Heidi. Her events contribute to the communities through which they pass, whether she commissions local artisans to create event trophies and memorabilia, incorporates cultural sites and projects in the race, utilises communities or donates to schools.
As CEO of a global company, Heidi balances her responsibilities to AR World Series, multinational meetings across time zones, and directing her adventure races with being a mother of three; two of her children are still in primary school. Her husband Stephan shares her passion for Adventure Racing. He is the Course Director of the events that they organise. She appreciates his support as she steers the global company and brand of AR World Series forward.
Heidi’s superpower is the ability to bring people together, to harness their skills, and to unite their efforts to create a masterpiece. She does this for her own adventure racing events as well as those that she mentors and consults. Heidi also encourages and empowers women to take up leadership roles in Adventure Racing.
Heidi enthuses an energy and deep knowledge for the complex sport of Adventure Racing. Her ambitious drive together with her experience in business, and as a competitor and Race Director establishes her pedigree and sets her apart as a woman leading the way with the global Adventure Racing World Series brand under her stewardship. The coming years will see her focus on growing and developing the sport into new countries and developing youth participation and competition.
Over the many years, Adventure Racing has taught Heidi lessons and skills that she implements in her daily life – from raising her children, nurturing friendships and developing partnerships, to confronting challenges, and running her business. She motivates and uplifts others through her commitment to realising her dreams and the sharing of her knowledge and experience, love of people, and her passion for Adventure Racing.
The best adventure racing teams in South America are preparing for 250km of Adventure at the Malacara Race in Brazil.